Per Te is a new Italian restaurant and café in Jumeirah. It’s a destination purely in the sense that it’s in a surprising location on a residential street, flanked only by villas and set behind all the other populated strips of eateries and retail outlets.
The venue itself is a pleasant duplex house with an indoor area that feels like a conservatory, with more indoor dining on both the ground and first floors, an (unoccupied) outdoor terrace on the first floor and a small retail area selling very Italian things like pasta and espresso cups. The space is large, airy, roomy and expansive. So much so that we wonder how Per Te (an Italian term meaning ‘for you’) hopes to fill the restaurant in such a hidden location.
Still, it wasn’t doing such a bad job on the Monday night we last visited – a handful of tables were occupied here and there. Service was pleasant and friendly – staff were rather pleased to greet a new face. The menu, cutely presented (attached to a chopping board, but slightly awkward to read), contains a traditional collection of dishes. Expect arriabbiata and carbonara pasta dishes, pizza, risotto and so on.
While there are plenty of typical appetisers to sample, the antipasti platter ‘antipasto classico’ seemed like a good start. For Dhs83, a large chopping board was decked out with items such as a good salad of bresaola, parmesan, rocket and fresh fig, a perfect black pepper-encrusted tuna tataki, classic cold slices of grilled courgette, aubergine and pepper, fresh mozzarella, a cube or two of freshly baked focaccia, and an unimpressive beef salami – letting the side down a little.
From the pasta list, the pansotti with mushroom and truffle was described as being freshly made in-house. You could taste that firm freshness, but the dough was a little too firm to the point of being quite hard and undercooked towards the sealed edges of the little parcels. However, it was stuffed with finely shredded, buttery pieces of mushroom filled with woody flavour, offset by a butter sauce also filled with the full, rich, woody flavour of truffle.
There are also plenty of pizzas on the menu, as well as secondi piatti, too. The buffalina pizza was made at the pizza oven directly behind us, and had a light, flaky, crunchy and slightly charred base. The toppings were good – a nice even spread of fresh, molten buffalo mozzarella, sweet tomato sauce (if a little wet and messy), segments of fresh cherry tomato and fresh basil.
The food at Per Te is of a simple, reasonably classic, decent standard, and represents reasonable value for money. It is honestly not going to excite you enough to make a trip here if you live far away, but the menu is not going to disappoint either, making this a nice, quiet neighbourhood spot for Jumeirah locals.
The bill (for two)
1x antipasto classic Dhs83
1x pansotti funghi Dhs68
1x grilled vegetables Dhs22
1x pizza buffalina Dhs52
1x large water Dhs14
2x lemon mint Dhs50
2x hot beverages Dhs24
Total (excluding service) Dhs313